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Jonesy

60s v 70s pickup spacing

60s v 70s Jazz pickup spacing  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Which pick up spacing sounds better to you......

    • 60s
      6
    • 70s
      4
    • Hardly any difference
      7


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So, there's a few topics about this over on TB but I couldn't find anything over here so I thought I'd ask the question... 

60s v 70s Jazz pickup spacing - which do you prefer? 

Are you a fan of the smoother 60s sound, the more aggressive 70s tone or does that couple of cms not really make much of a difference to you and you think the the difference can be recreated with a quick play of the eq settings?? 

I've never owned a Jazz, so bonus points for examples of songs or players that you think epitomise that 60s or 70s jazz tone! 

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I got told off on TB for this, but my view is still, it doesn't really matter.

Maybe it wasn't true in the 70's, but EQ's on amps and active basses are so good these days that you can easily EQ out any difference that 1/4" makes.

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I’ve Jazzes with both, and true to that old theory, I sound like me on either, the spacing doesn’t really affect the sound for me.

That said my fave Jazz sound is Deon Usted playing for Wham! Whichever he used is the one I like the sound of best. I suspect a 70s purely to the era, but I may be wrong.

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I think I'm with you guys here and surely the difference that small amount of space makes can be eq'd in? I was reading the multiple threads on TB about it and couldn't really believe it'd be that important, especially if your tone isn't exactly clean in the first place or by the time the band kick in? 

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Posted (edited)

Somehow all of the jazzes I’ve liked most have had 70’s spacing. Though I suppose it could have been any number of factors. Pickups, electronics etc.

 

I should add that I NEVER use the bridge pup soloed. It’s not a sound I enjoy at all, for my playing at least. So my preference for 70’s spacing is purely down to how it blends with the neck pup.

Edited by CameronJ
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I've seen a few demos of 60s vs 70s on YouTube and I prefer the sound with both pickups blended on the 60s, hands down.

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I play bridge favoured in a blend - 70s works better for me with a slight extra bite

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Prefer 70s. And I don’t think you can EQ the sounds of a pickup in a different place no matter what you do!

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1 minute ago, ped said:

Prefer 70s. And I don’t think you can EQ the sounds of a pickup in a different place no matter what you do!

I’m Inclined to agree with this!

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Ive owned a MIJ 75 RI Non export Jazz 70,s spacing and an MIJ 60's Jazz. A huge difference.. Sometimes i think it was probably the winding of the pickups that added to the 75's aggressive tone.. Spacing maybe, but not as much as the windings of the pickup. I tried Lollars in it. Sounded lame. 

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I used to own a 70s spaced pickup jazz and currently own one with the 60s spaced pickups. Ok definitely prefer 60s spacing. It's less nasal and the string tension is reduced there, making plucking more comfortable (really!)

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12 hours ago, bubinga5 said:

A huge difference.. Sometimes i think it was probably the winding of the pickups

I agree. There may be other things going on that give folks the impression that there is a lot of difference. It's difficult to do a true a/b test even with the eq on each bass and the amp the same. Personally I prefer the 60's sound, but I think it is the romance playing with my ears rather than any spectacular difference.

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Normally when you try and compare two basses people say 'yes but different woods, different finish, different fingerboard etc make more difference than the pickups'

So here's a way to show how the 60's and 70's spacings sound very different ON THE SAME BASS!

Sadowsky have a pickup with switchable 60s and 70s spacing. 

Watch this vid. The text is wrong, but the first sample is 70s, the second is 60s and finally a parallel mode.

As you can hear, the positions sound quite different!

 

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On 27/03/2020 at 11:02, ped said:

Normally when you try and compare two basses people say 'yes but different woods, different finish, different fingerboard etc make more difference than the pickups'

 

Don't forget the difference the colour of your pick makes!! 

Thanks for the video, it's great and just what I was after!

I'm still not 100% sold that half a cm can't be dialled in with eq'ing though...... 😕 It's not like we're comparing neck v bridge pup........ (ducks for cover) 

Having said that, the 70s pup spacing does it for me 😊

 

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8 minutes ago, Jonesy said:

Don't forget the difference the colour of your pick makes!! 

Thanks for the video, it's great and just what I was after!

I'm still not 100% sold that half a cm can't be dialled in with eq'ing though...... 😕 It's not like we're comparing neck v bridge pup........ (ducks for cover) 

Having said that, the 70s pup spacing does it for me 😊

 

There you go - just like you cannot make a P bass sound like a Jazz bass, this is the same story albeit the difference (to most) is subtle. 

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I've had quite a few Jazz basses over the years, and there's still three upstairs. Two of them are MiM 'Classic 60s' models, so I assume the pick up spacing is different on them to my Jazz deLuxe. To be honest, the only difference I noticed between the Classic 60s and the more recent US Standards I've owned is the fingerboard radius. I've never noticed any difference in sound that I could attribute to pick up spacing, only to different pick ups and strings (and technique, of course).

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2 minutes ago, FinnDave said:

I've had quite a few Jazz basses over the years, and there's still three upstairs. Two of them are MiM 'Classic 60s' models, so I assume the pick up spacing is different on them to my Jazz deLuxe. To be honest, the only difference I noticed between the Classic 60s and the more recent US Standards I've owned is the fingerboard radius. I've never noticed any difference in sound that I could attribute to pick up spacing, only to different pick ups and strings (and technique, of course).

I think they’ll all have 60s spacing 

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5 minutes ago, ped said:

I think they’ll all have 60s spacing 

That would explain why I haven't noticed the difference!

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I voted 70s but my current J is 60s.

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On 26/03/2020 at 10:20, Jonesy said:

I think I'm with you guys here and surely the difference that small amount of space makes can be eq'd in? I was reading the multiple threads on TB about it and couldn't really believe it'd be that important, especially if your tone isn't exactly clean in the first place or by the time the band kick in? 

 

You can't easily EQ the complex cancellations that are going one when you use both pickups on.

I've had both types. Mostly 60s, but I was curious about the 70s, so I ended up with a couple. Yes, there is a difference but it's not huge. I prefer the 60s one, but the difference wouldn't bother me if I found a 70s spacing Jazz that felt better.

 

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EQ can only do so much with what you put in - and it can't change what you don't put in. Therefore you can't get a 70's snap from a 60's position whatever you do, except modelling.

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